February 9, 2007, Volume 7 Number 6
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
If you matched your food preferences to your personality, do you see yourself as a "buffet" kind of person or as an "a la carte" person? This may be a bit too simplistic to really mean much, however, there may be something here about how we view life and make choices. A buffet personality may like the abundance of choices available as well as the opportunity to actually see what the food really looks like. A buffet person knows that they can get as much food as they can put on their plates and go back for more if they so desire. On the other hand, the a la carte person likes to have more control over selecting what's consumed and isn't really concerned about seeing the food in advance. A la carte people tend to have a better sense of portion control, too, since only a limited amount of food will be eaten.
I may be a bit presumptuous in claiming this, but I believe that most people living here fall into the "buffet" personality camp. I also believe that this "buffet" mentality is a major contributing factor to obesity. I don't think I'll ever stop enjoying my buffets, however, I do think there is a happy medium. Maybe this can be done by combining the two, so for most of the week we are "a la carte" people who peruse the menu and make smart choices before ordering and on the weekends we splurge and become "buffet" people. I also believe that everyone would be happier, if we threw in a little exercise, too! Just look at some of those lean people standing in the buffet or fiesta lines - they've got to be burning calories somehow!
What are your thoughts on this topic? I believe there's a lot more to be learned about ourselves and our choices, if we can take the time to evaluate our eating habits.
Finally, I'd like to wish all of you a Happy Valentine's Day...it's amazing how we can always find a good reason to indulge ourselves! Don't miss all our Valentine's Specials too!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
Sheila Shines at Blue Plate Opening
Sheila Baker Shedd, formerly the Marketing Communications Manager at the Hilton Guam Resort and Spa, paid a return visit to the island this past week from her home in Phoenix where she lives with her husband, Jay, and their children. I was able to catch up with her at the Blue Plate Restaurant's opening party on February 2. The Blue Plate is in the Imperial Suites Hotel on Ypao Beach Road in Tamuning, and is owned by Lory and Dan Tydingco, who also own The Brown Bag Cafe.
Sheila is a special friend of ours at GuamDiner.com, as she was one of the very few "early adopters" who took a leap of faith and became one of our first major customers in 2001, when we launched GuamdDiner.com. Sheila is well-loved and deeply missed by the many people she touched during her years on Guam. We wish her every success in her new career, selling real estate in the booming Phoenix metropolis, America's fastest-growing city. [Photo l-r: Lory Tydingco, Shelia Baker Shedd, Clara Peterson]
Bistro Sunday Brunch
646-4997 Ext, 2935
Bistro's Sunday Brunch is absolutely fantastic! Of all the Sunday Brunches I've had, it is the only one I'd describe as fine-dining. Why? Well, when was the last time you saw white table linen under your brunch plate, or gazed out upon a million dollar view of Tumon's azure waters, or relaxed in the peaceful, quiet ambiance of a spacious room. Your fellow guests are polite, respectful, relaxed and able to enjoy themselves without standing in long lines or jostling for a better position. When did you last have a dedicated server refill your coffee cup (with great coffee, by the way) by removing the cup and saucer and returning it filled. The service is extraordinary, despite the buffet designation. And that leads to the other criteria for a fine-dining nod - food quality and presentation.
The King Crab Legs tell it all - they're not the "scrawny wannabes" seen in some other places. The cheese board is artistically displayed in an almost sculptural manner. And, how is it possible that a chafing dish of lovely vegetables retain their crisp freshness? Everything is done with great style here. Maestro Patrick Palomo's piano selections just add to the pampering you get.
So many choices and they are all amazing. My omelet was perfectly made, with shrimp, ham, red onions, mushrooms, scallions, cheese, red and green bell pepper. The Eggs Benedict's yolk was not the least bit overcooked and oozed deliciously when I cut into it. The bacon was thick, lean, and meaty - it was a manly kind of bacon!
You like your prime rib embellished with horseradish and your rack of lamb with mint jelly? Not a problem. The live carving station changes weekly so there will be two different types of meat carved the following week.
The gleaming, highly polished Swiss chafing dishes contained hot entrees that would be special a la carte features in any top restaurant: Herb-Roasted Strip Loin in Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Kimchee Crusted Salmon with Soy-Butter Sauce, or Linguine Pasta with Baked Chicken in Neapolitan Sauce. I tasted all three and was astonished at the exceptional food quality.
Desserts were decadently delicious and in a variety of forms, textures, and flavors. Kudos to Bistro Sous Chef Willy Nunez and the leadership of Manager John Nicdao. This is one Sunday Brunch where diners truly feel accommodated! The price of $35 per person (plus 10% sc) is more than worth it. Reservations are suggested. Doors open at 10:30am.
Izakaya Katsu ("the Green Door")
The "Green Door" is a place of legend in Food Guy Folklore. Whether you go for lunch or dinner (as we did the other night), you will not leave disappointed.
Start with a large Chicken Garlic Salad ($12) - it's scrumptious and superlative by any standard, and enough for four (even six) to share. The Tofu Steak ($7 a la carte or $10 with rice and miso soup) is one of the signature dishes for Katsu. This meatless yet flavorful creation brilliantly combines garlic, scallions, bonito, soy, and ginger atop a grilled plank of firm tofu.
The panko-battered Fried Shrimp ($14) are another popular entree, these large prawns are served with a homemade tartar sauce that rules - I describe it more as a salad since its elements are so fresh.
We had the Unagi ($18 a la carte, $21 with rice and miso soup). At lunch you can enjoy this popular Japanese eel dish as a lunch special for $15 including rice and miso soup. There are many more delightful entrees and appetizers here, including Katsudon, Hammachi, Saba, Fried Oysters, Fried Garlic, and Tomato & Cheese Salad. Highly recommended - we have never been disappointed here -ever.
Andaman Western & Thai Cuisine
Monticello Plaza (Cost-U-Less)
There's been a lot of "buzz" about Andaman Western & Thai Cuisine, as more and more people are discovering the unique taste adventures crafted by veteran chef/owner, Jhamnong Kraitong, previously of the Westin Resort. We've drooled over his mountainous Caesar Salad chockful of crisp romaine tossed in an anchovy-lemon garlic dressing dusted with fresh grated Parmesan and crunchy homemade croutons, layered with strips of Italian Salami - it's an unmatched bargain for $7. We had the Saow Rong Hai (Eggplant salad $7.75) the other night. This is a Thai-style barbecue eggplant salad topped with marinated ground pork and cut shrimp chunks doused with a spicy coriander garlic shallot dressing that leaves your lips smacking!
Hold on to your seat because the seafood at Andaman is out of this world! The large Sea Bream (not on the menu, but available $28), is superbly fried to a crisp finish with the juicy white moist meat intact. There are three signature sauces to accompany this fish - Three Flavor Chili, Thai Curry or Sweet & Sour. We had the Three Flavor Sauce, which seems to have sweet chili, lemongrass, fish sauce, and probably a few other powerful ingredients - but it does justice to this great fish. Other fish choices on the menu are tilapia, snapper, parrot fish, or grouper, usually in both medium and large sizes, with prices from $9.50 to $18 and $24.
If you've not seen the banner over the restaurant (located next to OP Bakery), Andaman is offering a daily lunch buffet for $9.75. I've not yet tried it, but the chef wants people to stop in for a quick lunch and get a surprisingly broad sampling of Thai specialties, with a few Western items added!
Fast Wok Chinese Restaurant
Oka Commercial Complex
They've extended their operating hours at Fast Wok so you can enjoy their extensive menu of delicious Chinese food all day long! We had the Seafood Tofu Soup ($8) which was filled with a satisfying variety of seafood. The Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings ($6) are fried perfectly and accompanied by a savory pile of fried garlic, onions, and peppers, so good you'll just want to scoop up a spoonful to flavor your other food!
The Shrimp Egg Fu Young ($8.50) is another dish I've had before, but it's so tasty I wanted my dining partner who had just flown in from Saipan to try it. When adding measured portions of this dish on top of the moist, fluffy and ingredient-laden Yang Chow Fried Rice ($7), it just couldn't be any better! This place is aptly named Fast Wok because the food is served much faster than you can eat it.
It is understandable why so many have made this place a gathering point for lunch and dinner,and now late afternoon meals.
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